Mmmm.. it's brought on by long term readers not being able/willing to archive 40/50/60 years of continuity and approach Nu52 with no preconceptions.
How rational/culpable DC are to think they would do that... well, seperate argument methinks...
You're much more sympathetic than I am (a fact which we already knew). Regardless of additional culpability, a person who chooses to be confused by their own preconceptions gets no sympathy from me, and certainly not after it's been pointed out dozens of times. That's just willful ignorance, which is the absolute worst kind of ignorance.
I would agree, however, that there are plenty of separate arguments, and many of them involve irrational ideas from DC as well.
It's only confusing if you insist on looking outside of the books, themselves. Thus, exactly as Joe said, "Any confusion is brought on by the readers themselves."
So you're saying I should just ignore all the interviews and press releases I've read from the publishers and creators? And that I'm only confusing myself because I'm expecting things based on promises made by the creators?
People were mad about the New 52 because they didn't want to throw away all that they knew about the DCU and the characters that inhabited it. So the creators promised we wouldn't have to do that completely. But in too many cases, we've seen this promise broken.
I personally, was both excited and terrified about the New 52. I think there's been a lot of good to come out of it, and I'm able to leave a lot of the history at the door, and in a lot of the books that I find most successful, I don't have to do that. With books like the Flash, Aquaman, and Green Lantern, obviously things in the past are different for them now, but the stories don't rely on this new history to push the book forward. With Justice League I was able to let go of the history to read the story and accept it and I think it worked. But in a lot of cases where the history is so different, it's confusing because the history has been so redefined.
It's difficult to figure out the continuity of the New 52 because it's purposefully nebulous by design. DC doesn't want to rule anything out right away in case they have a need for it. The best way to deal with it is to tell people to proceed as if everything is new, but it's easy to say that because it's just a blanket catch-all statement. If you're a longtime fan who's devoted a certain amount of brain-space to following, organizing and accepting an evolving DCU continuity that in many cases spans decades, on a purely practical level it's difficult to compartmentalize that away and say that it "doesn't count" in the New 52, especially when so much of it clearly does -- not just for story reasons, but for business reasons.
For example, the two continuities that were supposedly altered the least by the New 52 were those of Batman and Green Lantern. I don't think it's any coincidence that sales of their TPBs (and those of their surrounding "family") were also among the highest at DC at the time when that decision was made. To keep those books selling and relevant in the years ahead, it only makes good business sense to say that those stories "happened". Things only get messy when DC tries to compress everything to fit into an arbitrary time-frame of 5-6 years (leading to the questions about Damian's age, who was an "official" Robin, etc.) or when characters from the Batman or Green Lantern families interact with other characters in the DCU (all of Teen Titans continuity being a good example).
A week ago I suggested a new Secret Origins series might be a good idea, since that helped to clarify many of the changes on the post-COIE continuity. But perhaps it would be more prudent for DC to just put together an all-new History of the DC Universe (as they also did post-COIE).
Or maybe I should just keep my fingers crossed that the upcoming event storyline involving the Phantom Stranger, Pandora, etc., will lead to an integration of the best ideas from the New 52 and a return of the pre-Flashpoint DCU. For fans who've left DC out of disgust in the wake of the New 52, such a storyline would certainly create another one of those brief-but-high sales spikes that DC and Marvel are forever chasing in lieu of, y'k'now, simply publishing well-crafted stories.